It can be quite startling when you take your dog out for their morning toilet break, only to find that their poop is a peculiar white color.
Taking note of your dog’s digestive characteristics is an important part of ensuring that they live a happy and healthy life. So when you witness such a strangely colored stool, it can be worrying.
It’s not abnormal to find that your dog has a brown or yellow stool, but you may be wondering what it means if it is in fact, white. In this article, I’ll provide you with some detailed information about why your dog’s stool may look a bit different to usual.
So How Come My Dog’s Stool Is White Colored?
First of all, if you’ve just noticed that your dog’s stool is white when they go for their toilet break, you need to investigate the issue.
White stools can happen when there is a shortage of black bile in your dog’s system. Stored in the gallbladder, black bile is produced in your dog’s liver.
If your dog’s gallbladder does not send the black bile to the intestine to aid in digestion, it will cause your dog’s poop to appear white.
You should take notice if this happens, as it could be a serious health issue. I suggest that you consult your local veterinarian immediately.
Some Other Reasons Why Your Dog’s Poop May Be White
There are a whole host of different reasons that could be a potential cause for your dog’s poop appearing a whitish color. It should not naturally appear this way, as healthy poop will always be a regular brown color.
To discover some reasons why your dog’s poop may be the wrong color, keep reading below as we take a look at some causes.
Too Much Calcium
If your dog’s poop is a strange whitish color, a common cause is too much calcium in their diet. This means that you will re-evaluate their diet and limit the amount of calcium that they are consuming.
If you feed your dog a homemade raw diet, then it is not completely abnormal to find that their poop is turning white due to too much calcium. It is very rare that you will have this issue if your dog is fed a commercially prepared RAW or kibble based diet.
Another indication that this is the issue is that when you feel the texture of your dog’s stool, it will appear to be incredibly hard and dense, or gritty.
Feeding your dog on a homemade raw diet comes with its risks, and too much calcium is one of them. It can cause nutritional imbalances and deficiencies, as well as bacterial contamination.
Dog’s eating a raw diet will likely eat a lot of bones or bone particles, which leads to these digestive issues. To get your dog’s stools back to normal visit your veterinarian to discuss a new diet plan for them.
They’ve Eaten Something
You may be particularly surprised to find that your dog’s stool is white, when you haven’t made any recent dietary changes, and they’ve been producing perfectly healthy poop until this point.
This might be an indication that your dog has eaten something that they probably shouldn’t have whilst they were not under your supervision.
The likely culprit for this item that they’ve consumed will be something that is white in color. They could have eaten a whole host of white items, such as toilet paper, sanitary pads, paper towels, chalk and a range of other items.
A lot of the time, things will continue to pass through your dog’s digestive system with no issue, but depending on what the item is, it could also cause it to become obstructed in some way. This is why you should visit your veterinarian, to make sure there are no blockages.
In future, make sure that you keep all potentially edible items out of reach, and seal all of your bins so that your dog can’t get in.
One of the most common reasons for white poop produced by your dog is due to internal parasites such as worms. The poop won’t appear completely white, but will instead look stringy and will only contain smaller portions of white coloring.
Tapeworm eggs resemble grains of rice, and roundworms look like beansprouts.
Make sure that you take your dog to the veterinarian immediately so that your dog can receive the proper deworming medication to clear up their system.
In addition, you should clean your yard thoroughly, to make sure there are no small pieces of feces left that could cause a recontamination.
Side Effect Of Medication
Another reason why your dog’s poop might be white is as a result of some kind of medication that they might be taking. Liquid barium, in particular, which may be prescribed to your dog can cause the poop to turn white temporarily as a result.
Don’t worry though, this will resolve itself naturally and will go back to a regular color soon. After the barium has fully absorbed into the system, the poop will go back to its regular brown color.
If you’ve stopped giving your dog barium for a while, as they’ve finished their medication, but it’s still white, make sure to consult your veterinarian to help resolve the issue.
Another reason that the poop may look white is due to environmental conditions such as temperature.
If you’ve gone to the backyard and found a white stool on the lawn, make sure that the next time that your dog goes to the bathroom, that you observe their poop whilst it’s still fresh.
Then you’ll be able to determine whether it’s to do with their digestive tract, or the environment.
In hot and humid weather, your dog’s poop can turn white naturally and even develop bits of mold on it. Make sure that you clean up your dog’s poop before it reaches this stage.
The Four C’s
When you observe your dog’s poop, a handy method to check if it’s healthy or not is to keep note of the four c’s. These characteristics are a method that you can refer back to to determine if your dog’s poop is in fact, healthy or not.
Let’s start off with color. This is probably the first thing that we notice about our dog’s poop, and can be the first sign that there’s something amiss.
If your dog’s poop is healthy, it will be a perfect brown color. As we mentioned above, the reason for its healthy coloring is because of the black bile released by the intestine that aids in digestion.
If it’s any other color than chocolate brown, there might be an issue and you need to investigate.
This is likely the next thing that we tend to pay attention to when we pick up our dog’s poop, it’s consistency. The consistency of your dog’s poop can tell you a lot about their digestive wellness. Your dog’s poop should normally be all in one piece, as well as being soft to the touch.
If it’s hard, then this may mean that your dog is constipated, or on the other hand, if it’s runny or watery, this can mean that they have a bad stomach.
Next, you should always observe the coating of your dog’s poop. If it doesn’t have any coating at all, then your dog is healthy. If it does, however, contain a coated layer of mucus over it, then this is indicative of a problem.
To check out if the poop does have a coating, move it from the area that you found it, and if there’s a residual layer on the ground, this means that there is a coating.
If it has a mucus coating, this probably means that the large intestine has become inflamed, so make sure to take your dog to the vet.
Finally, you should always take care to observe the content of your dog’s poop. If you notice that there are some chunks of food in their poop that they haven’t managed to digest properly, this may mean that their diet isn’t healthy.
You should re-evaluate what you’re feeding your dog so that they’re able to break down all of the food that they’re eating.
What Should I Do If My Dog’s Poop Is White?
Now that we’ve taken a look at why your dog’s poop is white, as well as looking at some methods of observing your dog’s poop to ensure that they’re healthy, let’s take a look at some actions that you can take if their poop is discolored.
As we mentioned, however, there are several different reasons why their poop might be white in color, so it’s important that you identify the issue correctly before trying to solve the problem.
If you suspect that your dog’s poop is discolored due to some kind of medical condition that you’re not able to pinpoint, then you should take your dog to the vet immediately.
This is because sometimes, on rare occasions, your dog’s poop might present as white due to internal illnesses.
An internal illness might mean that your dog is experiencing maldigestion. This could be because there’s an issue with their liver, or there could be a problem with their pancreas.
The pancreas is the organ that is responsible for breaking down fat and creating insulin. If it becomes infected or inflamed it can fail to do this, which can become a life threatening situation for your dog. Thankfully, this is rare, but it’s important to take precautions.
The next thing that you can do to help evaluate and treat the cause of your dog’s poop is by carefully observing their diet. As I mentioned above, if you feed your dog a homemade raw diet, where they may be consuming large amounts of calcium, this could cause their poop to turn a white color.
If you’re feeding them lots of bones as a treat to keep them occupied, then reduce the amount that you’re giving them. If you’re buying raw food that is branded, then perhaps you need to reevaluate and purchase a brand that has a lower concentration of calcium.
I’m not saying that you need to stop feeding your dog a raw diet, done correctly this can be one of the healthiest diets out there for dogs, but you’ll need to minimize the amount of calcium until their poop returns to normal.
The next thing that you should do to help your dog if their poop appears to be white, is to make sure that they haven’t eaten anything that could cause this discoloration.
As we said before, lots of the time they will just pass whatever they’ve eaten out of the digestive system, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Take your dog to the vet to make sure that there’s no blockage in their system that could potentially prove to be harmful.
What If My Dog’s Poop Is Gray?
Sometimes your dog’s poop can appear to be a chalky gray color rather than white, and can prove to be equally alarming, especially if they’ve been producing healthy brown stools up until this point.
The name for dog poop that is gray in appearance is acholic. This is again due to issues with the production of black bile which is responsible for the pigmentation.
This can actually be caused by a disorder of the liver where it is not able to function as normal. Liver failure can occur for a few different reasons. Some of which include a congenital birth alteration, scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), Liver cancer (hepatic neoplasia), and infection (acute hepatitis). Sometimes issues outside of the liver, such as pancreatitis can also be involved.
Take note of the following symptoms, and if any are present, make sure that you consult your veterinarian immediately.
- Hyporexia (Eating less, or not at all)
- Exercise intolerance
- Polydipsia (Increase in amount of water drunk)
- Abdominal distention (swelling of the abdomen)
- Jaundice (Yellow gums)
- Frequent stools
- Gray stools
Why Is My Dog’s Poop Yellow?
It is far more common to find that a problem with the digestive tract causes your dog’s poop appears to be yellowish in its coloration.
The reason why it can appear yellow most of the time is because it has passed through their digestive system at an incredibly rapid rate, not allowing them enough time to digest it properly.
If you’re not already aware, dogs can actually experience irritable bowel syndrome just like humans. Yellow poop could be a sign of this, if they frequently have poop that is of a runny consistency, and is yellowish in coloration.
Why Is My Dog’s Poop Green?
Perhaps you’ve noticed that your dog’s poop is actually green in color, and are concerned about what this may mean.
Most of the time, green poop is nothing to be concerned about, because it usually means that they’ve been eating lots of grass outside, which can be a common habit of many dogs.
Plus, if you feed them lots of greens, this could also cause it to become this color. Green dental sticks are another common culprit!
If it’s none of these reasons, consult your veterinarian.
There are many causes for white colored poop produced by your dog, sometimes the cause can be due to a high calcium diet, but other times, you will need to consult a veterinarian to make sure there are no medical reasons behind this.
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